NK // Jul 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm
Why are you baffled? Big Science has a political and social agenda just like any other institution competing for power. They’re not going to let their cosmological and historical narrative go that easily. They’re well aware that they have a massive wound and the sharks are circling in for the kill. This will be defended until the bitter end. Any hint of “spiritual” phenomena in the universe and they’re doomed.
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Speculative history at the fringe is constantly in search of the fantastic but tellingly can’t handle the data of the Axial Age, which is surely much more fantastic that alien/ufo mythology (I don’t the possibility of a correct version).
The reason it is elusive is that we approach it indirectly with periodization analysis, and the careful study of the ordinary (e.g. Archaic Greece, not ordinary in my book, but compared to the Old Testament fancies…), and the plodding tally of ‘books read’ (how many books must you read to visualize a stretch of history?). In a way the ‘Israelites’ spoiled their remarkable history with the fantastic in large doses, but the plain vanilla version is almost more fantastic: we see the indirect and carefully hidden evidence of a ‘macro’ operation that is hard to understand via any analysis, spiritual or secular. And it is really a tale of two legacies: the Persian and that of ‘Israel/Judah’.
Meanwhile, the buddhist legacy falls into place beautifully in this context. It almost prophecies modern secularism in the way it takes the colorful legacy of ‘santana dharma’ and rationalizes it, in the process leaving something that invades modernity as something like water for moderns dying of thirst for something real beyond Old Testament Hollywood. The invasion starts right at the end of the enlightenment, we see figures like Schopenhauer already studying the invading literature and its new scholarship. And he reads the Upanishads in a translation from a Persian (?) translation!
Schopenhauer shows the remarkable way that ‘transcendental idealism’ (check out the real definition) can produce a model for the discussions of consciousness and enlightenment.
My point is that modernity is much more complex than simply the rise of science.